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Police arrest 3 involved in multi-county crime spree

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

A special police unit that apprehends violent criminals has arrested a third suspect in connection with a multi-county crime spree that started with a robbery in University City last week.

Before it was over, police say, the suspects had led them on two car chases. One suspect was shot by officers after firing on them during a pursuit.

On Tuesday, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department’s violent criminal apprehension team arrested Edward Antonio Hudson, 23.

Jarvis Marsh, 30, and Robert Lamar Smith 23, have also been arrested in connection with the robbery case. All three were in Mecklenburg jail early Wednesday, charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon.

It was unclear if police are investigating the men’s involvement in other crimes as they evaded officers.

The robbery that police say started the crime spree happened in University City just before 3 p.m. on May 8. The victims told officers that three armed men entered their apartment, ordered them to lay on the ground, then took their vehicle and other property. No one was hurt during the robbery.

Officers broadcasted a description of the stolen vehicle, which was spotted by Cabarrus County Sheriff’s deputies a short time later.

The deputies tried to conduct a traffic stop, but the men inside the vehicle wouldn’t pull over. The vehicle crashed a short time later, and the suspects inside got away during a foot chase.

Later that day, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office told NBC Charlotte, the Observer’s news partner, that they assisted on a call for a home invasion and assault in the Midland area of Cabarrus County around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Officers searched for the suspects with the assistance of a canine unit, but no suspects were found.

The next day officials said a victim was carjacked at gunpoint in the Midland area. About 20 minutes later, a vehicle matching the description of the stolen car was spotted on Highway 24/27. Stanley County deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop but the vehicle and its two occupants fled.

A short time later, a deputy saw a man in an open field south of Albemarle near Stoney Gap Road and the Stanly County Fairgrounds. When the deputy made contact, officials told NBC Charlotte the man fired a handgun, stole the police vehicle and attempted to leave the scene but ended up exchanging fire with a second deputy before taking off southbound on Highway 52 toward Norwood, and a chase ensued.

That chase ended when the suspect’s car crashed just inside the Anson County line on Highway 52. Marsh was taken into custody without further incident, but was transferred to Stanly County Hospital to receive treatment for a gunshot wound.

Police haven’t given details on how Smith was apprehended. But they say “based on information and evidence gathered during the investigation,” they were able to obtain warrants for Hudson. He was arrested in Anson County, and transported to police headquarters.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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